Jun 14, 2018 - Lord of the Glens

We awoke at Corpach in very boisterous conditions as Storm Hector moved through the west of Scotland. The Finish markers for the Three Peaks Yacht Race had blown away overnight and all island ferries had been cancelled as weather warnings had been issued. It was quickly determined that it was not going to be possible to move out of the sea lock from our protected berth and Plan B was activated: we were to depart by coach for a visit to Inverary Castle. 

The journey to Inverary is always a dramatic one, passing through the vast glaciated valley of Glencoe and over Rannoch Moor, but today the heavy overnight rain produced sensational waterfalls that heightened the drama. We were still immersed in the Jacobite history, references at Glencoe and Culloden of the infamous Glencoe massacre in 1692 had been a foretaste of things of come.  At Inverary we witnessed the fruits of victory at Culloden where the Campbells, the villains of the piece at Glencoe, fought on the government side against ‘Bonnie’ Prince Charlie’s Jacobites, for which they were rewarded the with extensive land holdings as Dukes of Argyll. Inverary Castle is not so much a country seat as a trophy case for the stalwarts of new regime in the Highlands.  

After a substantial lunch in Inverary we returned to Fort William for a late afternoon visit to the Ben Nevis distillery where we were talked through the various stages in the production process and participated in the most important process of them all, a tasting session. Returning to Lord of the Glens, we were in time for some of the early arrivals at the finishing line of the Three Peaks yacht race, retuning from their run up and down Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, now visible as Storm Hector gradually receded.

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About the Author

David Barnes

Expedition Leader

David studied history at the University of York in England and theology at the University of Wales. Research in the field of religious history (at Cardiff) followed on naturally. He has spent most of his professional life teaching history, most recently in adult education departments within the University of Wales where he has taught a wide variety of courses pertinent to the wider Atlantic world. In 1988, he made his first lecture-tour of the U.S. for the English Speaking Union. He has published extensively on Welsh history and topography–his most recent book being the Companion Guide to Wales (2005)–and is a frequent contributor of articles and reviews to Welsh cultural and literary journals. In the1990s, David was active in the field of international education, traveling worldwide and spending a year in the U.S. (in Atlanta and New York City). He speaks English and French in addition to his native Welsh.

About the Photographer

Stewart Aitchison

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Trained as zoologist and geologist, Stewart 's passion is the natural world. He has been exploring, photographing, teaching, and writing about biodiversity, geology, and the American Southwest for forty years and has worked with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1981.  Stewart also spent ten years as a field biologist for the Museum of Northern Arizona, a nonprofit institution dedicated to preserving the Colorado Plateau's natural and cultural heritage.

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